INCUMBENT and former senators showed up at the Senate Office on Tuesday to pay tribute to one of the most respected lawmakers that served Congress–ex-senator Jovito Salonga.
Senate President Franklin Drilon together with Senators Vicente Sotto 3rd, Loren Legarda, Juan Edgardo Angara, Paolo Benigno Aquino 4th, Aquilino Pimentel 3rd and Teofisto Guingona 3rd were among those present during necrological services for the former Senate president.
Drilon, in his eulogy, said he considers himself as a very fortunate individual for having met and shared a deep friendship with Salonga, a man he described as a witty and brilliant nationalist.
The late former senator, he said, has set the standard for public service by leading a simple life marked by honor, humility and integrity.
“At the Senate, he sowed the seeds of good governance. Principal to these is the Anti-Plunder Law that he wrote and authored,” Drilon added.
Salonga, aside from authoring important pieces of legislation like the Code of Conduct and Ethical Standards for Public Officials and Employees, and the Act Defining and Penalizing the Crime of Plunder, also led a group of 12 senators who voted against retention of the United States military bases in the country in 1991.
“To the Filipino youth who are now enjoying the freedom that generations before them paid for with their life and limb, may the life of Jovito Salonga inspire you to protect our hard-won democracy,” Drilon said.
Also showing up to pay tribute to the ex-lawmaker were former Vice President Teofisto Guingona Jr., former senators Heherson Alvarez, Edgardo Angara, Alfredo Lim, Ernesto Maceda, Rene Saguisag, Leticia Ramos-Shahani and Wigberto Tañada.
Shahani said Salonga served the country without compromising his principles or giving up his dignity.
Tanada said the former Senate president brought dignity, honor and prestige to the chamber and managed to live a purposeful life.
Legarda, who also considers Salonga as her mentor, said political leaders should struggle mightily and hard to be true keepers and ardent torch bearers of Salonga’s work and legacy.
“His devotion to our nation’s freedom has allowed each one of us to stand here today to argue and agree, to debate and collaborate, and help run the nation,” she added.
The Senate presented Senate Resolution 118 expressing the Senate’s profound sympathy and sincere condolences to Salonga’s son Ricardo.